Australia-Oceania :: New Caledonia
(self-governing territory of France)

Introduction ::New Caledonia

    Settled by both Britain and France during the first half of the 19th century, the island became a French possession in 1853. It served as a penal colony for four decades after 1864. Agitation for independence during the 1980s and early 1990s ended in the 1998 Noumea Accord, which over a period of 15 to 20 years will transfer an increasing amount of governing responsibility from France to New Caledonia. The agreement also commits France to conduct a referendum between 2014 and 2018 to decide whether New Caledonia should assume full sovereignty and independence.

Geography ::New Caledonia

People and Society ::New Caledonia

    noun: New Caledonian(s)
    adjective: New Caledonian
    Melanesian 44.1%, European 34.1%, Wallisian & Futunian 9%, Tahitian 2.6%, Indonesian 2.5%, Vietnamese 1.4%, Ni-Vanuatu 1.1%, other 5.2% (1996 census)
    French (official), 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects
    Roman Catholic 60%, Protestant 30%, other 10%
    264,022 (July 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    0-14 years: 24% (male 32,390/female 30,996)
    15-24 years: 17.1% (male 23,000/female 22,060)
    25-54 years: 42.6% (male 56,533/female 55,907)
    55-64 years: 8.1% (male 10,526/female 10,842)
    65 years and over: 8.2% (male 9,732/female 12,036) (2013 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 48.3 %
    youth dependency ratio: 33.6 %
    elderly dependency ratio: 14.7 %
    potential support ratio: 6.8 (2013)
    total: 30.7 years
    male: 30.1 years
    female: 31.3 years (2013 est.)
    1.45% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    15.81 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    5.39 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    4.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population
    country comparison to the world: 27
    note: there has been steady emigration from Wallis and Futuna to New Caledonia (2013 est.)
    urban population: 57% of total population (2010)
    rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    NOUMEA (capital) 144,000 (2009)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
    total: 5.54 deaths/1,000 live births
    country comparison to the world: 178
    male: 6.54 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 4.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total population: 77.13 years
    country comparison to the world: 70
    male: 73.08 years
    female: 81.37 years (2013 est.)
    2.02 children born/woman (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 96.2%
    male: 96.8%
    female: 95.5% (1996 census)

Government ::New Caledonia

    conventional long form: Territory of New Caledonia and Dependencies
    conventional short form: New Caledonia
    local long form: Territoire des Nouvelle-Caledonie et Dependances
    local short form: Nouvelle-Caledonie
    territorial collectivity (or a sui generis collectivity) of France since 1998
    parliamentary representative democracy
    name: Noumea
    geographic coordinates: 22 16 S, 166 27 E
    time difference: UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    none (overseas territory of France); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are three provinces named Province des Iles, Province Nord, and Province Sud
    none (overseas territory of France); note - a referendum on independence was held in 1998 but did not pass; a new referendum is scheduled to take place between 2014 and 2018
    Fete de la Federation, 14 July (1789); note - the local holiday is New Caledonia Day, 24 September (1853)
    4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
    civil law system based on French law; the 1988 Matignon Accords (signed in the Matignon Hotel) set up a ten-year period of development during which the Kanak community received substantial autonomy but agreed not to raise the independece issue
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Francois HOLLANDE (since 15 May 2012); represented by High Commissioner Jean-Jacques BROT (since 2 February 2013); note - he was nominated on 23 January 2013
    head of government: President of the Government Harold MARTIN (since 3 March 2011); note - since 3 March 2011, three different governments of Harold MARTIN have collapsed over the choice of a flag that will be used while it is being decolonized; President Harold MARTIN is head of a caretaker government
    cabinet: Cabinet consisting of 11 members elected from and by the Territorial Congress
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: French president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; high commissioner appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of Interior; president of the government elected by the members of the Territorial Congress for a five-year term (no term limits); note - last election held on 10 June 2011 (next to be held in June 2016)
    unicameral Territorial Congress or Congres du territoire (54 seats; members belong to the three Provincial Assemblies, or Assemblees Provinciales, elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held on 9 May 2009 (next to be held on 10 May 2014)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 13, Caledonia Together 10, UC 8, UNI 8, AE 6, FLNKS 3, Labor Party 3, other 3
    note: the Customary Senate is the assembly of the various traditional councils of the Kanaks, the indigenous population, which rules on laws affecting the indigenous population; New Caledonia holds two seats in the French Senate; elections last held on 21 September 2008 (next to be held not later than September 2014); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 2; New Caledonia also elects two seats to the French National Assembly; elections last held on 17 June 2012 (next to be held by June 2017); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 2
    highest court(s): Court of Appeal in Noumea or Cour d'Appel (the highest local judicial court; organized into civil, commercial, social, and pre-trial investigation chambers; number of judges NA); Conseil d'Etat (the highest local administrative court; number of judges NA)
    note - final appeals are heard before the Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation, in Paris
    judge selection and term of office: NA
    subordinate courts: Courts of First Instance include: civil, juvenile, commercial, labor, police, criminal, Assizes, and also a pre-trial investigation chamber; Joint Commerce Tribunal; administrative courts
    Caledonia Together [Philippe GOMES]
    Caledonian Union or UC [Daniel GOA]
    Front National or FN [Marine LE PEN]
    Kanak Socialist Front for National Liberation or FLNKS (includes PALIKA, UNI, UC, and UPM)
    Labor Party [Louis Kotra UREGEI]
    National Union for Independence (Union Nationale pour l'Independance) or UNI
    Parti de Liberation Kanak or PALIKA [Paul NEAOUTYINE]
    Socialist Group [Jean Pierre BEL]
    Socialist Kanak Liberation or LKS [Nidoish NAISSELINE]
    The Future Together or AE [Harold MARTIN]
    The Rally or UMP [Pierre GROGIER]
    Union of Pro-Independence Co-operation Committees [Francois BURCK]
    PIF (associate member), SPC, UPU, WFTU (NGOs)
    none (overseas territory of France)
    none (overseas territory of France)
    the flag of France is used
    kagu bird
    name: "Soyons unis, devenons freres" (Let Us Be United, Let Us Become Brothers)
    lyrics/music: Chorale Melodia (a local choir)
    note: adopted 2008; the anthem contains a mixture of lyrics in both French and Nengone (an indigenous language); as a self-governing territory of France, in addition to the local anthem, "La Marseillaise" is official (see France)

Economy ::New Caledonia

Energy ::New Caledonia

Communications ::New Caledonia

    76,200 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    227,300 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    general assessment: a submarine cable network connection between New Caledonia and Australia, completed in 2007, increased network capacity and improved high-speed connectivity and access to international networks
    domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone subscribership exceeds 100 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 687; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2010)
    the publicly owned French Overseas Network (RFO), which operates in France's overseas departments and territories, broadcasts over the RFO Nouvelle Caledonie TV and radio stations; a small number of privately owned radio stations also broadcast (2008)
    34,231 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    85,000 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 165

Transportation ::New Caledonia

Military ::New Caledonia

Transnational Issues ::New Caledonia